Friday, June 12, 2009

Define Health care as Human Infrastructure: Loosing The Gordion Knot. Bold Stroke Solution

When Reasoning Fails to Get a Consensus,
Just Do It With a Bold Stroke.
A little audacity, please.

Study Myth and Legend - The Gordion Knot - find the effectiveness of fast, but planned, Action. Have your tools handy, and move.

Tide's rising. What are our choices.
a) Keep on the sandbar, some of us having boats for the immediate future; or
b) Move fast and decisively, now, to a group-option higher ground, considering the long term. Not only because it is the right thing to do, but because the old boats leak.
First here, the legend of the Gordian Knot (a/k/a Gordion Knot) and then application of the lesson of the tale to Healthcare.
Yesterday's Knot - Gordius Who Became King

Fast and decisive saves the day. Once, as legend goes, there was a poor peasant named Gordius, in ancient Phrygia, an area now part of Turkey.

Phrygians were known for their headwear, see Phrygian Caps; and for a particular scale in music, often used in old church music, and now in modern times including heavy metal, see ://
Now, Peasant Gordius happened to tie his oxcart in a public square. Seeing that, the people were overjoyed.

Why? Because an oracle had told them that their future king would come in such a cart. The people made Gordius their king, and named the town Gordium.
Overjoyed at his own good fortune, King Gordius a) b)dedicated the cart to Zeus, king of the gods, and retied it so the knot could not not not be undone by just anyone. Another oracle prophesied that the one who succeeded in undoing the Gordian Knot would conquer all of Asia.

Phrygian Cap

A century passes. The knot holds. It is 333 BC.

Along comes Alexander the Great, age 23, who needs a decisive victory in his bid to conquer the known world, or at least an omen to persuade the people to stick with him, and he fusses with the strands a while.

Finally, Alex says, nuts, more precisely, "What does it matter how I loose it!" and he draws his vorpal sword and whack, the knot split.

That night, there was a huge thunderstorm, convincing the people that Alexander is truly the Son of Zeus. See The Gordian Knot at :// Sometimes spelled Gordion.

So: An intractable problem, and a bold stroke solved the problem. It got the job done. There are several variations on the theme, and on the kind of solution used (did Alex really just pull out the pole pin?, see :// Nonetheless, the story took hold, and even Shakespeare used it in reference to the skills of Henry V in problem-solving. See the Wikipedia site.

Today's Knot - Healthcare
Healthcare. One side (those who benefit now) wants the old system, with incremental tokens tossed here and there to those in need. Another wants a new approach, evening out benefits and burdens. Stalemate. Threats. Terminology wars: Raising humanitarian or public service arguments fizzle. One party coos, while the other bridles.

Need to Reframe. Follow through, instead, on this idea. Healthcare as human "infrastructure" - and stress the economics, the need for conditions in place before production can occur and increase. That has some heft.

And if that reasoning fails, then just do it. Then take a fast, decisive move to just do it. There are plenty of models to work from. If it works, great. If not, so what? Somebody later lowers the water level again. Better that than not aiming for high ground now.

Who likes that? Surprise, but conservatives should favor it. Healthcare does away with the excuse (perceived) that people can't be productive because of ill health, or a family member is in that position, and there is no money for treatment.

So: Skip the common good.

Skip life, liberty, pursuit of happiness. Skip the public interest. Label healthcare as it is: the basic framework, the underlying bones of our national organization. Health is human infrastructure. What other facility or system serves the national interest more than people who can be productive. For the punitive among us, take away the excuse not to do or be. Free up people. On the idea of infrastructure, all sides can agree because it is not roundy-touchy-feely. Nothing about moral obligations to love your neighbor. I me mine. That works.
1. Label Healthcare as Infrastructure: The idea is already wafting.
  • Florida Independence Party: "Spend taxpayer money only on infrastructure needs." And within infrastructure is listed health, along with roads, fire, sewer, law enforcement, water. Those are part of the Florida Independence Party platform at Fiscal Responsibility Para.10. See
Health as infrastructure. Define health care as human infrastructure.  As necessary to a society's productivity as roads are to transportation.

The flaw. Florida's Independence Party has it right, except for the part that says let the States and locals do it. States won't and can't see the national picture. We know that because they have not. Power spends on itself and for more power. Is that so? Local and state power channels to itself too well. Proven. No more time for private sector or local government.

National funds can even out the benefits of residency among states. So put Federal back in there for infrastructure, including as to health, because if your neighbor is sick, that ripples across state bounds to the national economy. The sicker, the bigger the ripple. Death and disease, equal opportunity sappers.
  • The Blogs. We keep hearing the arguments, but nothing gets done. See, e.g, :// See the calm, frontal lobe reasoned pip-pip-old-chap article, Health Care is Infrastructure by Deane Waldman from months ago at ://
We have much reasoning going on the one side, with demagoguery on the other. Is it possible to counter demagoguery without becoming a demagogue?

2. Why reasoning fails.

a. Reasoning fails when an issue has already been hit and grabbed the amygdala first, before facts are out and allowed to be discussed calmly.

Let a viewpoint out before facts are in, push it enough, and that fight-flight-fear emotional part of the brain takes over and may well not let go. Emotion dominates. Emoticon dominance theory.

That Deane Waldman blog should have triggered a meme far more widespread by now. See ://

That blog bogged because it is too academic in presentation. This is an age of Demagogues.

Where are the demagogues for healthcare single payer government option? Get us some slogans, the anecdotes, the media advance troops, the testimonials, the horror stories, the cherrypicking of speeches that show the idea is Marxist. We need color bursts! Volumizers! Or should we hold on to the principle that being a demagogue is morally wrong, and we will go down holding those principles dear. Maybe that is the way to go, but it is sad. Why do the demagogues have all the skills at demagoguery? Is there a midground?

We already know that reasoning does not change minds in species already moved by the limbic system - the amygdala and its emotion, fear processing parts of the brain area.

We need to move emotions, and pocketbook moves emotions. And tribe. And finding ways that the tribes can join together to defeat the swamp monster.

b. Reasoning fails because it only gets out these days after the opposing view has already persuaded the people otherwise.

Reasoning only works if it anticipates the issue, gets the people thinking about how they might choose to react.

But reasoning has to make its entry before we are made to react by persuasion-meisters who get there first, spewing out the FUD, now FUDS.
  • fear,
  • uncertainty,
  • doubt and
  • spin.
The evil threesome plus one. Gene Amdahl knows that FUD triad, now expanded to the four horsemen of the apothecary. FN 1

c. Reasoning fails because of resistance to change.

Look at FN 1, where we find that the famous pale horse of the apocalypse is really green, not pale. Take the exercise further: read more of what we fill in on our own about that fearsome event and what to expect, for those who do, at ://

What gets filled in as filler by people later is more persuasive than anything originally written about that dreaming. Get that amygdala, turn it your way, and truth and fact matter not. Is that so? See FN 2.

2. Add bridles to whatever healthcare plan is adopted.

Unbridled authority in healthcare, just like unbridled capitalism, leads - where, class? Yes. To corruption, profiteering and exploitation - and we have arrived.

Add sunset provisions to whatever is done for national healthcare as an option, rechecks, accountability, and paygo once we are on our feet again,

3. Stop the fox.

Why put the fox in charge of deciding what the henhouse gets.

Stop the kabosh power enjoyed by those whose interests financially are being challenged from having the total stage. See :// Where are owners of media from the other side? Who owns the media owns the folks. Is that so?

We know what happens when you ask the privileged ones, the doctors, politicians, or lobbyists, or executives, if they want a system to bolster secondary others in ways that just might bridle the privileged ones' incomes. Ask anyone that same question.

The fox's kabosh -a predictable response. Hear it coming, accompanied by a snap shut of the purse and a sniff. And, for some, another rapid deposit offshore again, during that nice company retreat each year to the islands so the wife can't get at it if there is a divorce without spending ghastly sums on her lawyer just to see what's there. And that's just one island.
  • New rule: If anyone gets income from an infrastructure project, whether military contracting or health services or bailouts, it is absolutely under the control of the government until everyone is on board with basic infrastructure needs met.
  • Income for foxes from botox, lifts, redecorating and viagra? Hit the moon if you like. That is not the kind of infrastructure referenced here. Charge away.
4. Let profits rise once infrastructure is in place and sustains itself
Suspend free profiteering until everyone is on board somewhere. Until then, the fox, the privileged ones, should have minimal say in what happens as to method in getting the country back to a productivity position. How to rein in the lobbyists? Try. Disclosure as a start.

No rights of kabosh as to the following until an even-handed distribution of these infrastructure services is in place and sustains:
  • education and daycare - even out urban-suburban-rural
  • healthcare - government option as well as private. No profiteering on infrastructure.
  • bailouts - you take the money, you take the oversight
  • sustenance - a reasonable floor on shelter, food, clothing
  • transportation
5. Relabel/ Labels have to fit the individual's ideology, so work on it.

Any good propagandist knows you have to work the words to get people to do what you want. Call right left, night day, repeat it often and loud enough, in black while bouncing, and you make fortunes. Isolate and repeat and you get a Swiftboat.

For some in the country, then, for the privilege maintainers, go directly to hard-nosed reality.

The Bear: A Logical Conclusion to Shenanigans. This one in our yard.

This is a bear market. Attention must be paid. As with roads or truck mudguards, or food safety, healthcare needs a national standard for productivity. Bear it or not. Just do it. Is that sense? Or an amygdala talking?
FN 1

Further example: does reason change minds? Of course not.

Fourth Horse of the Apocalypse Was Green.
Here's one. The Fourth Horse of the Apocalypse, the one ridden by Death, was green, not pale. Oh, the pale horse! So poetic! It was green, people; green. See transliteration of Revelation 6:8, ://

Will that change the pale horse idea? Doubtful. The pale got to us first. We are beyond the pale.

FN 2

Oh, dear. Healthcare: Does this road have a quasi-religious aspect for some who take things literally? Are there some who think disease is there for a purpose and should not be countered by healthcare? Is it allegedly ordained as punishment for some as part of the order of things, or end times, so we should just submit and be done with it?

But disease is not listed in the transliteration site in FN 1, so we must be ok there. Is it only later other people who put plague in as part of end times, on a frolic of their own? Someone else go back to that scripture4all site. How much time do we spend just thinking things up to frighten each other, so no change will happen.